A Personal Education Plan (PEP) is a plan which supports children and young people in public care to do well at school. The plan provides essential information for schools and carers and encourages dialogue between social workers, carers and schools.
The PEP is a statutory requirement for all school age children in public care. The plan will identify areas of strength and other areas where extra support may be necessary. It is a working document that is regularly reviewed.
An effective PEP will:
- include all relevant personal information regarding school history, contact and responsibility details
- identify areas for educational development and ensure access to services and support
- have recent attendance and exclusion records
- act as a record of the young person’s progress and achievements both academic and otherwise
- establish clear SMART targets for the young person relating to academic achievements – where appropriate personal and behavioural targets will also be identified
- include a consideration of improving access to out of school hours activities
- identify who will action the plan, with timescales for action and review
- consider school transitions and specify any additional support required for a successful transition
Who needs a PEP?
A PEP is required for all looked after children from preschool to age 18 whether educated within Bracknell Forest or outside the borough. Children with disabilities and those who are out of school for any reason also require PEPs.
For preschool children, the focus should be on good quality play opportunities, early learning and access to appropriate nursery or other provision rather than formal educational goals.
Main areas of the PEP
The PEP should cover the following 4 areas.
- An achievement record (academic or otherwise).
2. The identification of developmental and educational needs (short and long term) in relation to the development of skills, knowledge or subject areas and experiences.
This should cover:
- ongoing catch-up support for those who have fallen behind with school work
- transition support needs when children begin a new school
- proposed action and timescales for the child’s reintegration into the full National Curriculum where it has been considered appropriate to dis-apply aspects of the National Curriculum
- out of school hours learning or study support and leisure interests
3. Short term targets, including progress monitoring.
4. Long term plans and educational targets and aspirations (for example, in relation to public examinations, further education, work experience and career plans and aspirations).
Initiating a PEP
The social worker is responsible for starting the process. They should book the formal meeting and ensure that all relevant sections of the PEP are completed.
However, in Bracknell Forest the Virtual School takes a lead on making relevant arrangements once a notification has been received from the social worker. The Virtual School will chair the meeting.
When is a PEP required?
The first PEP should be arranged within 20 school days of a young person entering care or joining a new school.
The PEP should then be reviewed each term and at other times if necessary (for example at a change of school, care placement or long exclusion). A current PEP should always be available for review as part of the Care Plan.
It is not normally appropriate to review the PEP concurrently with the statutory review. However for children with disabilities this sometimes might be appropriate.
Responsibilities of the school
The Designated Teacher must ensure that PEPs are in place for all looked after children in their school. They should liaise with school staff to make sure that all aspects of the plan are in place.
Plans for other children
PEPs are equally important for children with special education needs and disabilities and those young people out of school.
Those children and young people who have a Education, Health and Care Plan will already have targets in their Individual Education Plans which might be appropriate to incorporate into the PEP.
For children and young people out of school, the PEP should focus attention on what is needed and can impose timescales for action.
Links with other plans
The PEP is intended as the overarching education plan, which is in turn an integral part of the young person’s Care Plan.
An effective PEP will make connections with but not duplicate other plans which could include:
- Care Plan
- Statement of Educational Needs
- Individual Education Plan (IEP)
- Pastoral Support Programme (PSP)
- any transition plans
- Pathway Plan